Nobiletti Sued for Alleged Fraud in Suffolk County Supreme Court

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Michael Nobiletti and Nobiletti Builders, of Water Mill, New York, are being sued for fraud and breach of contract in Suffolk County Supreme Court by Matthew Smith, homeowner who alleges they defrauded him out of more than a million dollars in connection with the renovation of his Sag Harbor home. Smith is represented by Alex Kriegsman of Kriegsman PC in Sag Harbor, New York.

According to a Complaint filed this week in Suffolk County Supreme Court (case number 613041/2016), Matthew Smith has been the alleged victim of a fraud perpetrated by Michael Nobiletti and Nobiletti Builders of Watermill, New York.

As set forth in the Complaint, Smith hired Nobiletti to renovate the historic, yet dated home that he purchased in Sag Harbor, New York in 2014.

The Complaint alleges that Nobiletti commenced construction work in 2015, after the renovation plans were unanimously approved by Sag Harbor’s Zoning Board of Appeals and its Architectural Review Board. According to the Complaint, Nobiletti initially quoted the Smiths a price of $652,000 for the renovation and promised them that all work would be completed within six months. But, as the Complaint alleges, today, $2.5 million dollars and 18 months later, the home remains unfinished. Moreover, according to the Complaint, it is riddled with incomplete work that the Smiths must pay another builder to complete, multiple unfinished rooms and bathrooms and with no certificate of occupancy.

According to the Complaint, Nobiletti allegedly conspired with subcontractors he employed to fraudulently inflate invoices, demand kickbacks, and otherwise defraud the Smiths of money. The Complaint further alleges that over a period of three years Nobiletti misrepresented costs, accepted kickbacks, and manipulated invoices all the while failing to provide basic oversight and coordination. Without proper supervision and basic site security, purportedly thousands of dollars of material disappeared and critical workers frequently failed to show up to complete necessary tasks. As set forth in the Complaint, over the course of 2015, the Smiths watched the original budget and timeline grow exponentially as progress slowed.

The Complaint argues that in early January of 2016, now expecting their second child, it became clear that while the Smiths were working in New York City, Nobiletti and some of his subcontractors capitalized on their vulnerabilities to charge extensive costs for subpar construction. According to the Complaint, in April of 2016, three weeks prior to the Smiths’ anticipated move in date, Nobiletti jetted off to a "$35,000 trip” to the South Pacific during which time the Smith’s building permit expired. The Complaint claims that on April 6, the Village building inspector called Nobiletti to inform him that the building permit was about to expire but could be extended for free with a simple letter. According to the Complaint, instead of writing the letter, Nobiletti allowed the building permit to expire and it will allegedly cost five thousand dollars to renew before a certificate of occupancy can be issued. The Complaint alleges that when the issue was brought to Nobiletti’s attention, he refused to pay to extend the permit, thus further delaying the certificate of occupancy.

As set forth in the Complaint, following the birth of their son, in early May of 2016 and the expiration of their lease extension in Manhattan, the Smiths were forced to move into the yet-uncompleted Sag Harbor home. The Smiths have purportedly been subjected to a daily construction site with myriad of workers trying to finish what Nobiletti could not. The Complaint asserts that as the details of the alleged fraud began to emerge, they were forced to hire new contractors to complete the project.

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Katy Frank

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